I have a fireplace in my family room that I would like to remove. I have
removed half (top) to build in a TV shelf but find that without any
insulation behind it it is just too cold for me. Removing the fireplace
will allow me to frame and insulate the wall. I would then build in shelves
and a zero-clearance fireplace. I wish to keep the exterior brick of the
fireplace in place. I don't see any big concerns with this part of the
project. My question concerns the concrete pad that the fireplace sits on.
Is it connected in any way to the foundation wall? How difficult will it be
to take it out? Are there any concerns you can think of?
Also, there is no need for the flues. I have direct vent furnace and water
heater and will be going to a direct-vent fireplace.
I know the truth is out there, but I like to stay in....
Can't say for sure without seeing it. I'm thinking of a fireplace in a
house I helped build about 15 years ago. The concrete pad was massive and
would have to be jackhammered out. So would some of the stone wall. It
would be a rather large project. Yours may be much simpler, but be sure
before you get in to it too far.
Any concerns I can think of? Yeah, gravity. Unless you know what you are
doing, blithely stripping the interior brick and hollowing out the stack
<could> cause the whole damn thing to collapse in a stiff wind, depending
how the chimney stack is structured. No way to tell from here. Get a
competent mason, experienced in fireplace construction in there, to look at
what you have done so far, and discuss how to proceed. While the interior
brick may be simple veneer, removing the firebox and damper to get room for
a zero-clearance is right in the guts of the stack itself. Why you want to
remove a real fireplace for a pale imitation is beyond me- if it burns wood,
you still can't put shelves right around the interior opening. Zero
Clearance are designed for cheap houses with wood chimney chases. If you
have an existing brick chimney, you haven't gained anything. As to the pad
the fireplace sits on- yeah, if properly constructed, it is part of the
house foundation. You can't get rid of it and keep the outside brick. Or did
you mean just the inside part the hearth sits on? Look in basement, and see
if it is on full foundation, or just a pocket for a mudbed attached to
chimney stack. Sometimes, those can be removed, or at least the top layer
down to joist level so subfloor can be patched in.
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